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Aspects Affecting the Cost of Rehab
The cost of substance abuse to the US is more than $600 billion each year; effective addiction treatment helps reduce these costs. Over 14,500 drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in the US offer services including intervention, counseling, and medication. Yet, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only 10% of the 22.7 million people suffering from a substance use disorder receive treatment for their addiction. Fears about the cost of rehab can often hinder people from seeking the treatment they need.
The cost of rehab varies from facility to facility. Some government-funded rehabs may offer services for free, while luxury rehabs famous among celebrities can cost as much as $80,000. Treatment program fees vary depending on:
- Type of facility (inpatient vs. outpatient rehab)
- Treatment programs (i.e. detox, counseling, medication-assisted therapy)
- Number of patients in program
- Length of treatment (i.e. 30 – 90 days, 1 year)
- Amenities (i.e. sports facilities, horseback riding, massage)
After the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, addiction treatment is an essential health benefit that must be covered by insurance plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare (military health insurance), private insurance, and paying out-of-pocket are all options for paying for rehab. It’s important to know what your insurance covers and what you can afford when researching types of facilities and treatment programs.
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What Is the Cost of Rehab?
Addiction is a complex, chronic neurological disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors that vary from person to person. Thus, a wide range of treatment modalities are available depending on the length and severity of an individual’s addiction, what they can afford, and where they prefer to enter treatment. All rehab programs offer some basic services; additional therapies and amenities generally increase the overall cost of rehab.
Treatment modalities (as well as the determined level of care for each patient), and therefore the cost of rehab, vary depending on numerous factors, including:
- Severity of use
- Length of time using
- Method of administration
- Which substance(s) are used
- Whether the client is in acute withdrawal
- Readiness for change
- Mental health
- Physical health or ailments
- Environmental factors,
- Medications taken by client
- History of relapse/Previous treatment episodes
- And many more
Additionally, it is important to note that insurance requires a thorough biopsychosocial assessment (or evaluation) be conducted for each client in order to determine a diagnosis, appropriate level of care, specific needs of the client, as well as to utilize when developing individualized treatment plans for clients.
Medically supervised detox at a treatment facility can increase the comfortability of detox before an inpatient treatment program. Detox may also occur outside a rehab center for less-severe addictions or for patients prior to outpatient treatment programs. The price of detox generally doesn’t include the cost of the treatment program following detox. Detox costs are commonly accrued per day and can run up significantly more than $1,000 a day. However, some publicly-funded options are free, and those who have insurance will not be paying these fees in full. Medication-assisted detox costs may be more if the facility charges for the use of medications like Benzodiazepines, Methadone, or Buprenorphine. If an individual is entering an inpatient program, detox may be covered by the overall price of rehab.
The cost of rehab for inpatient treatment programs can vary more than any other category of addiction treatment due to the aspects affecting rehab listed above. Inpatient rehab can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000 for 30-day programs; well-known, luxury rehabs can top $100,000 for 30-, 60-, and 90-day stays. However, insurance can substantially lower these costs.
The length of outpatient rehab can be much longer than inpatient rehab, yet the cost is often less for addictions of mild- to moderate-severity. This is because patients with a less severe addiction generally need a less severe treatment program. Outpatient rehab costs between $5,000 and $8,000 for a three-month program; some publicly-run outpatient rehab centers are free for those who qualify (though many have waitlists prior to admission to rehab). Prices may be more or less depending on the number of visits to the rehab center per week are required.
Aftercare and Support Groups
In almost all circumstances, aftercare for patients leaving rehab is free. Additionally, many national support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and also free and provide a place for patients to maintain accountability for their recovery. Some people also choose to enter some form of individual counseling, the cost of which varies depending on the type of therapy (most fall between $75 and $150 per session).
Paying the Cost of Rehab
For every dollar invested in addiction treatment, an individual saves about $12 in healthcare costs. Rehab is also much cheaper for the individual and the public than other alternatives of addiction, such as incarceration. For example, one year of Methadone treatment is about $4,700, while a year behind bars costs the public $24,000.
When securing funds for recovery, patients have a few options to consider.
There are a number of different types of health insurance providers as well as healthcare plans. An individual’s type of insurance depends on whether they purchased it through the Health Insurance Marketplace, an employer, or privately. (The Marketplace is where individuals can go to enroll in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act/ACA, also known as Obamacare.) Public health insurance plans like Medicaid and Medicare also provide coverage to millions. Type of insurance generally determines what kinds of treatment services or rehab centers an individual can choose from.
Early intervention is considered an essential health benefit and must be covered by health insurers in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Detox services are covered under most insurance plans. Your insurance may not cover every rehab center, or all of the services offered at particular centers. Similar to visiting a doctor’s office, some with insurance will have to pay out-of-pocket for some services/medications/amenities.
Due to the current Opioid Epidemic, many local governments have started to provide funding to public addiction treatment facilities. For the uninsured and under-insured, government-funded services range from detox to outpatient or residential programs. Departments of Health and Human Services commonly provide listings of low-cost and no-cost rehabs accredited by the city. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also maintains a database of state programs.
Some will choose to pay out-of-pocket for rehab, either to conceal it from an employer or because they don’t have insurance. For those who pay out-of-pocket, some rehab centers allow patients to pay on a sliding-fee scale or a payment plan. Personal loans or credit cards are also ways to cover extra costs of rehab.
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Benefits of Rehab
For every $100 spent by the average American, $1 is spent on alcohol. A year of drinking could easily run $3,000 per person; an Opioid or Heroin addiction is even higher. Those suffering from an addiction are more likely to struggle financially due to lost wages, productivity, excessive spending on substances, and risky behaviors. Family, friends, and coworkers are also commonly affected by an individual’s addiction – in time lost, poor or strained communication, bad decision-making, et cetera.
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